Bad Copy

Four Tours & Seven Beers Ago

Western Settings & Kevin Do the West Coast: Chapter 4


For the first time in three days I felt rested. It’s amazing the difference sleeping on an actual bed makes. Downstairs, Western Settings was strewn in various positions about the house with an empty bottle of tequila was on the kitchen table. “I didn’t miss anything cool. Sleep is the coolest thing there is” I tried to convince myself. But after taking an awesome shit and washing my undercarriage with actual soap and water, it didn’t fucking matter. I felt like a human being again.

I was outside drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette when everyone else started waking up and getting ready to get back on the road. We had a short drive up to Seattle, a mere three hours away. We said our goodbyes to Brittany and Josh, and hit up a vegan place for breakfast before leaving town. I refused to eat there, not out of any sort of disdain of veganism or anything, but because it was super fucking expensive and nothing really looked that good. I’ve learned from past mistakes that even if I fill up on $30 worth of vegan food, I’ll just be hungry again in an hour or so. Something about it doesn’t stick. But whatever, I found a Panda Express at the next gas station and was happy. Walnut Honey Shrimp, homie. That shit is worth the extra $1.25.

We made it to The Kraken pretty fucking early, so most of us went and got discount sushi from some place down the street. “Discount” and “sushi” are two words you don’t really want to hear next to each other. But this was tour baby, and funds were running low. There wasn’t much else to do so we made our way back to The Kraken and started drinking. Shane was telling us non-stop about the “Ryan Donovan Special” AKA The Double Vodka Pineapple for a few hours, so we ran inside for a round of the mythical DVP’s. They were pretty fucking good and soon one turned into two turned into three.

The good thing about showing up to a venue early is you get a sweet parking spot right out front. Heartsounds was not early and, after having their van broken into the night before, were bummed to find out they had to park a couple blocks away. But it was hard to feel bad for them for long as they regaled us with a tale of earlier in the day, on a lake, riding Jet Skis. If my life was subtitled, it would read “[Sips DVP jealously].”

I missed most of Tacoma’s Phasers on Kill set because I was outside with the dapper dudes from Four Lights. I did make it in for the last couple of songs, and was treated to Ryan Koreski joining them on stage to cover… some song. I think it was an old local Seattle bands song, maybe? It was one of those, “Oh this would be really fucking cool if I was from here and knew what was happening” moments, but I had to settle for “this is a good song.” The room was super pumped though and that’s all that really matters.

Four Lights was next. It’s funny watching a band play their home town versus somewhere else. About a month earlier I saw Four Lights when they were on their weekender with Squarecrow, playing in Tijuana, Anaheim, and San Diego, but not one of those shows could hold a fucking candle to them playing at The Kraken in Seattle in front of their biggest friends and supporters. Speaking of the crowd, I went to go get a DVP refill when I noticed I was standing next to John Maiello and Jon Oddo of Dead Bars. And over there was Aaron-Rev from Success! And hey! It’s Oliver Dawes of Heck Yes, and there’s Drew Smith of Burn Burn Burn working the door, and on and on and on. I never noticed how many friends I have in Seattle until I was surrounded by almost every single one of them. It was a pretty cool feeling.

After Western Settings and Heartsounds were done playing, I was busy selling merch. Up until that point, I sold a couple of shirts and records a night. It was nothing major, just enough to not feel like a complete fucking failure. The good people of Seattle though formed a fucking line as I scrambled to keep up slinging dad hats, pins, vinyl, and t-shirts. When the retail rush was done, I needed a drink and went back to bar. The DVPs had run dry. Shane Hendry got the last of them and in a fit of drunken sloppy “dancing,” dropped his glass of the endangered mixer while simultaneously letting us all know it was fucking time to go.

We loaded Megataur and said our goodbyes to the Pacific Northwest folk. It was only an eleven hour drive to our next stop in Sacramento, with Tom driving and myself pulling co-pilot duties. Sweating and shaking from exhaustion and impending soberness, we put Seattle in the rearview mirror as we flew down the darkened 5 freeway toward our long fucking night.

Pour yourself a double vodka pineapple and peruse the previous chapters to make sure you’re all caught up. Check out Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 now!

An ongoing anthology of tour diaries.

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